I am committed to strengthening our village through economic development
River Forest is a beautiful and vibrant community and the place my family calls home. Our green spaces, historic landmarks and homes and our close proximity to Chicago make us a truly unique community. I’m proud of our village, and believe that with smart, purposeful economic development we can support our current small businesses while bringing in new revenue. We have a great opportunity to grow municipal revenue while limiting the burden of property taxes for funding important town projects and services. We are a thriving community and I am excited to serve all residents.
The North Avenue and Madison Street TIFs (Tax Increment Financings) that have been approved are an exciting opportunity for economic growth and development. I’d like to be able to utilize the TIFs to grow our small businesses and bring in new businesses like commercial, retail and restaurants to enhance our community. However, since I live next to one of these areas, I understand the value of listening to residents and taking their needs or suggestions into consideration too. I believe River Forest is stronger when we have a diverse housing base, and as such, believe that development and enhancement can happen without permanently displacing moderate income residents. Our village works when businesses and residential areas work to support each other.
Another source of income for our village is property taxes. However, property taxes in River Forest are mainly determined by the school districts (over 80%) while the Village itself accounts for about 15-18% of the property tax. Therefore, as a Village Board Trustee I will make sure that residents get the most value out of those dollars. Using this revenue efficiently, continuing our village history of fiscal responsibility, and making sure we determine the best value for our residents is a priority for me.
I am committed to listening to residents and being a voice for all
As Trustee, I pledge to listen to residents who actively want to share their thoughts and opinions in front of the board. Additionally, I want to proactively reach out to communities in River Forest that aren’t always as vocal or heard to ensure we are seeking out diverse points of view. Our village is made up of a broad and diverse group of people, and we are at our best as a village when we work to understand multiple viewpoints.
Listening & Outreach
When elected to the Village Board, I’d like to explore how we engage and communicate with the community in a more effective and consistent way. I believe the Village Board meetings should be accessible to everyone. One way to improve accessibility is to live stream all meetings and or provide a recorded and closed-captioned video that residents can watch. Another way to address accessibility is to offer the meeting agendas sooner, via our web site, email, or better use of social channels for communication. Connecting with residents more often, in more channels and with more transparency will help all residents feel engaged and informed.
I am committed to building relationships and enhancing our capabilities
One of the aspects of being a River Forest Village Trustee that I am most excited about is our role as liaisons in the community. We get to interact with residents, business owners and other municipal offices. I have a deep history in working with various interest groups towards a common goal. I believe in the future of River Forest and that we have so much more to offer and I will use my skills to work with all parties to ensure that vibrant future.
The safety of residents and those who come into our community is the most important role of a Village Board Trustee and I take that very seriously. River Forest has been recognized for its high-caliber department and police officers and I’d love to continue that recognition and make sure they receive the best training possible from programs in our state. In addition, the Village Board needs to ensure that in their efforts to safeguard the Village, they are employing the best practices in treating all community members and visitors with dignity.
The Village Board just passed a resolution to install nearly 70 new stop signs and I am in full support of having right of way signage at most intersections in River Forest, especially in residential areas to avoid accidents. We are a small community and by working together we can ensure everyone feels safe and supported.